In an incident of gross negligence committed by the court in Mandi District, an accused who was acquitted on 11th of April was kept in Sub Jail Mandi till 18th of April. It’s found only after when the accused along with other two accused was produced in the Court of Additional Sessions Judge Mandi.
As per the fact of case, three accused Sat Pal, Rahul (Both from Distt Palwal Haryana) and Hem Singh a resident of Kullu were tried by Rakesh Kainthala Additional Sessions Judge Mandi under the provisions of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act as police recovered 5 Kg of charas form the possession of Satpal while traveling in a bus on 10th of January 2010 and the other two accused were nabbed for abetting it. Out of these three accused Hem Singh was on bail and Sat Pal and Rahul were in custody. On 11th of April the court announced final orders and hold Sat Pal guilty for offence under section 20 of N.D.P.S Act and adjourned the case for passing quantum of sentence on 18th of April and the Court further ordered that the other two accused Rahul and Hem Singh be acquitted. (Hem Singh was earlier on bail and the Rahul was in Custody) But the things did not stopped here as per order of court the accused Rahul was to be released immediately, but on the jail warrants the acquittal of accused Rahul was not mentioned and it was written on the Jail Warrant that the accused be produced on 18th of April 2011. Yesterday both the accused were produce before court and it was found that Rahul remained wrongly lodged in the jail and was released yesterday. (However the other accused was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 12 years and fined for rupees 1.20 lakh and was today sent to Central jail Nahan.) According to B.S Saklani, Jail Superintendent Sub Jail Mandi the accused remained lodged in Jail till yesterday as per the order to trial court.
It was further told by dealing hand Kishan Singh from the Sub Jail that though the accused was saying that he had been acquitted on 11th April (On previous date of hearing) but there was no mention of this fact on Jail warrants so his deposition was ignored and the accused was produce yesterday before court as per order of Court and released yesterday.
According to D.C Sharma defense counsel, the accused was acquitted on 11th of April but as per the practice prevailing the accused were firstly taken to Jail and then released as they used to collect their some belongings at jail Gate so I thought that the accused had been released and had gone to his house but I was shocked to see him yesterday in the court and it was noticed that the accused remained wrongly lodged in the jail. The members of District Bar Association were seen discussing this matter as according to them it was matter of great concern and happened first time , according to some of members such incidents lower the reputation of Judiciary in the public.
Interestingly the District Bar Association has passed resolution few days back against the functioning of Additional Sessions Judge Mandi and sent it for the consideration of Chief Justice of H.P Kurian Josheph. Rahul when contacted today said that he was on the way to his home and would come to Mandi after three days and lodge formal complaint before High Court of H.P as to what happened with him.
Mahesh Chander Sharma